The sensitivity of the soil dust aerosol cycle to the radiative forcing by soil dust aerosols is studied. Four experiments with the NASA/GISS atmospheric general circulation model, which includes a soil dust aerosol model, are compared, all using a prescribed climatological sea surface temperature as lower boundary condition. In one experiment, dust is included as dynamic tracer only (without interacting with radiation), whereas dust interacts with radiation in the other simulations. Although the single scattering albedo of dust particles is prescribed to be globally uniform in the experiments with radiatively active dust, a different single scattering albedo is used in those experiments to estimate whether regional variations in dust optical properties, corresponding to variations in mineralogical composition among different source regions, are important for the soil dust cycle and the climate state. On a global scale, the radiative forcing by dust generally causes a reduction in the atmospheric dust load corresponding to a decreased dust source flux. That is, there is a negative feedback in the climate system due to the radiative effect of dust. The dust source flux and its changes were analyzed in more detail for the main dust source regions. This analysis shows that the reduction varies both with the season and with the single scattering albedo of the dust particles. By examining the correlation with the surface wind, it was found that the dust emission from the Saharan/Sahelian source region and from the Arabian peninsula, along with the sensitivity of the emission to the single scattering albedo of dust particles, are related to large scale circulation patterns, in particular to the trade winds during Northern Hemisphere winter and to the Indian monsoon circulation during summer. In the other regions, such relations to the large scale circulation were not found. There, the dependence of dust deflation to radiative forcing by dust particles is probably dominated by physical processes with short time scales. The experiments show that dust radiative forcing can lead to significant changes both in the soil dust cycle and in the climate state. To estimate dust concentration and radiative forcing by dust more accurately, dust size distributions and dust single scattering albedo in the model should be a function of the source region, because dust concentration and climate response to dust radiative forcing are sensitive to dust radiative parameters.